Kawhi Leonard Rumors: Spurs Hoping to Fix Relationship, Offer Supermax Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2018

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard before an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The San Antonio Spurs reportedly want to put any tension with star Kawhi Leonard in the past and reach an agreement with the forward on a supermax contract.

According to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio wants to meet with Leonard's team "in a bid to mend fences and pave the way for Leonard to come to terms on a five-year, $219 million supermax contract that he will be eligible to receive starting July 1."

Orsborn noted Leonard's decision to rehabilitate from his quadriceps injury away from the team and with his own group "created a rift between him and the Spurs, as well as many of their fans." He played a mere nine games during the regular season and missed the Spurs' first-round playoff loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Orsborn's report comes after Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer wrote the Spurs wouldn't accept anything less than a "grand-slam offer" if they were going to trade the 26-year-old this offseason. Their desire to meet with Leonard and put his injury saga in the past is an indication they want him in San Antonio moving forward.

It wasn't a stretch to assume Leonard would be the face of the franchise for a decade or more as the team shifted away from the Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili era. He is already a two-time Defensive Player of the Year winner, a two-time All-NBA first-team selection and an NBA Finals MVP. He's also one of the few players in the league who can dominate on both ends.

He averaged a career-best 25.5 points per game in 2016-17 to go along with his always formidable defense.

The rift between the Spurs and Leonard has been a primary NBA storyline throughout the season. In January, Adrian Wojnarowski and Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com reported "months of discord centering on elements of treatment, rehabilitation and timetables for return from a right quadriceps injury have had a chilling impact" on the relationship between the two sides.

Wojnarowski also reported Parker led a players-only meeting in March to talk Leonard into returning, but it was to no avail.

Wherever Leonard ends up, it will send reverberations around the league considering his status as one of its best young players. The Spurs reportedly want to make sure he stays put with a supermax deal.